Pocahontas Schools Score 4th in Math among All WV Schools

Pocahontas County School’s 6th through 12th grade students did amazingly well on their State Math tests last year, as County School Math Coordinator Joanna Burt-Kinderman explained to the Board Of Education at the November 16th Board’s Local School Improvement Council/Faculty Senate meeting at Marlinton Middle School.  Joanna.

“We’ve been enormously successful in 6th through 12th grade Math” said Joanna. “We’re 4 in the State –that’s single through triple A combined in Math. And we are really getting the attention of people around the State saying ‘how in the world a county with your demographics and your budget have these outcomes?’ It’s because of these little faces right here and the parents that support them (and) the hard work of our teachers. I’m passing around to you guys where we are in the rankings, what the other counties are that we are up against. I noted that we had almost twice the level of child poverty as any of our competitors that are doing as well as we are- so it’s really remarkable. And out 8th graders –last year’s eighth graders and last year’s 11th graders were number one in the State.”

Only 3 counties, all much larger and wealthier then Pocahontas County – Monongalia, Ohio and Putnam Counties- did better than Pocahontas County in the statewide math tests.  The handout Joanna provided to the Board also indicated that Pocahontas County has the highest percentage of students meeting the benchmark on the Grade 11 College and Career Readiness assessment than any other county in the state, and nearly doubled the statewide average percent of students meeting that benchmark.

Marlinton Middle School also did well on the statewide tests, as Principal Joseph Riley explained to the Board.

“There was only one class that we was actually less than state average” said Riley. “Everywhere else we were above state average, so we felt really good about that, and we made some turnaround in our school to get to that point.”

Mr. Riley handed out a grade by grade Summative Assessment for 2014-2015 for Science, Math and English Language Arts.

The 6th grade was above both the County average scores and the State average scores for each of those subjects.

The 7th grade was equal to County and above State average in Math, but below both State and County average in English Language Arts.

The 8th grade was above both State and County average in both English and Math, more than double the average State scores in Math.

Mrs. Doss, the School Counselor talked about efforts to reach their goal at Marlinton Middle School which is to improve the school climate. She discussed the “Copperhead Crew, a student oriented approach based on being Cooperative; Respectful; Excellence; and Winning Attitude.

Teacher Cynthia Shreve talked about Science studies at the school, while Mrs. Sherman, the School Librarian talked about ways to revive student interest in reading.

Marlinton Middle School has also involved the community in developing innovative programs helpful to students but not normally found in the classroom, such as an Equestrian Therapy program where kids are exposed to horses, working with the Hospital, and with the Animal Shelter.  They have also presented suicide prevention programs, and are establishing a chapter of SADD- which was formally known as “Students Against Drunk Driving” but now has expended its mission to include other problems and changed its name to Students Against Dangerous Decisions.

Three students who are starting up the schools SADD Chapter, Carley Keatley, Emily Casto and Hadden Mick talked about what they learned while recently attending a SADD Conference.

The Lego Robotics Team gave a robotics demonstration for the Board.

Regular Board of Education Business was also conducted.  Vender claims were authorized, grant awards approved, and Budget Adjustments authorized.

The Board unanimously voted to reject a Memorandum of Understanding between the County Commission, the Greenbrier Valley Economic Development Corporation and the Board of Education which would have facilitated a lease of 9 acres of the Former Slaven Property in Green Bank by the Economic Development Corporation to the Joseph S. Meck Construction LLC.  The Board of Education would have received a small monthly payment for 20 years. The Board felt that they did not want to be to be party to the lease.

The Board approved personnel actions, a link to these can be found on our website, alleghenymountainradio.org with this news story.

11-16-15 BOE Personnel Agenda


Story By

Tim Walker

Tim is the WVMR News Reporter. Tim is a native of Maryland who started coming to Pocahontas County in the 1970’s as a caver. He bought land on Droop Mountain off Jacox Road in 1976 and built a small house there in the early 80’s. While still working in Maryland, Tim spent much time at his place which is located on the Friars Hole Cave Preserve. Retiring in 2011 as a Lieutenant with the Anne Arundel County Police Department in Maryland, Tim finally took the plunge and moved from Maryland to his real home on Droop Mountain. He began working as the Pocahontas County Reporter for Allegheny Mountain Radio in January of 2015.

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